Well, Commonwealth Youth Games were an absolute experience and a half! Being able to represent New Zealand in the warm weather of the Bahamas was awesome! Not only being able to ride and race in the Bahamas, I was also able to go to attend all of the other sports that were involved. The Athletes village was a water front resort with an all you can eat food buffet. The start of the games began with an opening ceremony that was short lived by the cyclists as we had to leave early due to our race being the next day. We were there for the teams’ lap around the track with all 1300 athletes from the commonwealth. After we left there were many speeches and then dancing and music with the locals and a live stage band.
The first day of competition was the Time trial which was a 9km ride around a loop that we would be seeing a lot of during the road race. Overall the time trial didn’t go to plan at all and I struggled to put out the power needed to be competitive and finished in 21st place. It was one of those days that I just had no legs. After the Time Trial, a few of us found our way down to the table tennis table and began to play amongst ourselves. Eventually the Anguilla team turned up to play against and my table tennis partner James Croft and I managed to beat the team to take our first Win of the trip.
The road race four days later was completed in 34-degree heat (in the shade) and was awesome. The race was aggressive from the gun with multiple attacks going on in the first two laps. I gave it a go a few times to try and create a break, but continued to get shut down. A group of 4 managed to finally get away and get out eventually to a 2-minute lead. There was another group that were away with the peloton starting to chase. With the Scottish, Australians, a Jersey rider, and myself driving the chase, we caught the chasing group but the break were able to stay away to win by about one minute. I finally finished in the bunch in 16th place. It was a great experience to be able to race with all these other countries and athletes.
To conclude the games, there was a closing ceremony with plenty of speeches and some more dancing by the Bahamians. The whole team that went was awesome and they were absolute legends in and out of competition. It was so cool to meet and watch these athletes tear it up.
Overall the trip was awesome and I have so many people to thank who made it happen and helped me get there: My coach Grant Wilson, all those that contributed financially including the Bike Manawatu Junior Development fund, and finally, last but not least, my Family, Mum and Dad, Nan and Grandad and Grandma and Grandad who are all my biggest helper, sponsors and motivators!
Article from Radio New Zealand...
Congratulations to the following five BikeManawatu riders who will be representing New Zealand at the Oceania Track Championships to be held in Melbourne next month.
In the elite mens sprint we have olympic medalist Simon van Velthooven along with young gun Jordan Castle.
Junior world champion and dual silver medlist Michaela Drummond will be riding in the elite women's endurance team, in her first official track meet out of the under 19 agegroup. But she does have experience at this level, having raced at an elite world cup in Hong Kong earlier this year.
Libby Arbuckle and Emily Shearman have the call up for the U19 endurance team. After gaining silver in the Junior World Track Championships in Switzerland earlier this year Emily will be one of the experienced members of the team, alongside Ellesse Andrews, Kate Smith and Nicole Shields who were in the junior world's team. Libby will be an asset to this combination, with her large diesel engine that we have seen at the Feilding Velodrome recently.
Other West Coast North Island riders in the New Zealand team include Sophie Leigh-Bloxham and Thomas Garbett in the U19 sprint teams, who have also shown good form at the Feilding Velodrome recently.
Best of luck to all of our riders. Keep posted on our website and Facebook page for updates on their progress.
Congratulations to Michaela Drummond for an outstanding ride at the 2017 Elite Road Nationals in Napier last week. Michaela claimed the silver medal in the Under 23 Women’s race having only just moved up into this category and will turn 19 this year.
The Under 23 Women’s race was combined with the Elite Women, over a 112km course with a circuit in the hills of Taradale then returning to four laps of the inner city circuit including a tough climb up the Napier hospital hill and a final 13km flat to the finish.
Michaela was so close to winning gold, getting away with three elite riders, Rushlee Buchanan, Georgia Williams and Kate McIlroy but started to cramp with two laps to go re-joining the main bunch, but still managing to sprint to take second place.
After a very successful year in 2016, winning two Junior World Track Championship medals, the Elite Oceania Women’s Scratch race and the Australian Madison Championships, Michaela will head to the US to ride for the professional team, “Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling” this year.
For full results of Elite Road Nationals can be found here
In the extreme heat of Doha, Robert Stannard and Campbell Stewart will leave their mark as world class at the UCI World Cycling Championships this week.
A proud effort and reward for all those associated with their careers in the Manawatu and New Zealand.
Watch their road race live on YouTube live stream at 11pm Friday night. UCI under 19 junior men road race.